From Macanese Opium Traders to British Aristocrats: The Trans-Imperial Migration of the Pereiras

Catherine S. CHAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

This study follows the multiple migrations of a middle class 'Portuguese'/'Macanese' family in two imperial contexts and explores the complex relationship between 'race', 'class' and social mobility as wider social experiences shaped by imperial traditions, personal ambitions, social networks, and identity transformations. Through an examination of four generations of the Pereira family, from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth century, I trace their movement from Portugal to Portuguese Macau to British Hong Kong, and finally to Britain, in order to reveal the shifting meanings and strategic value of being 'Portuguese', 'Macanese', and 'British' under different social settings and timeframes. Ultimately, this study aims, through the lens of middle-class migrants, to understand the construct of 'race' beyond the coloniser-colonised spectrum and to reconsider the colonial encounter as a pragmatic response to migration opportunities, social traditions and life challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-261
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Migration History
Volume6
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • class
  • colonialism
  • cultural identity
  • Hong Kong
  • Macanese
  • Macau
  • race
  • trans-imperial migration

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